The Department of Health director general of communications has become the fourth senior figure to signal their departure from the NHS or DH in the space of a week.

Sian Jarvis announced today that she would be leaving the DH at the end of September after 12 years.

Her departure follows that of DH director general of workforce Clare Chapman, who announced her resignation on 20 June, and that of DH chief information officer Christine Connelly two days’ later.

HSJ has also learnt that NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement chief executive Professor Bernard Crump will retire from the institute in a couple of months and begin a secondment at the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges next week.

The DH said in a statement the communications director general role would not be replaced and it was instead “beginning the search” for a director of communications.

It added that, prior her departure, Ms Jarvis would advise on a new shared communications structure for the DH and the NHS Commissioning Board.

The statement said she would “make a further announcement in the autumn about her future plans”. 

The former GMTV political reporter was made a CB (Order of the Bath) in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to the Department of Health.

Ms Jarvis said: “It has been an enormous privilege to have such an exciting and challenging role for over a decade.

“I look forward to creating a new model for shared partnership working to be undertaken by the new director of communications and to progressing the government’s plan to put patients at the heart of the NHS.”
Health secretary Andrew Lansley said: “I would like to single out the outstanding work Sian has done to create and maintain the successful Change4Life brand. Sian was instrumental in its design, making sure it resonated with its target audience and really had an impact on changing people’s behaviour to live more healthily. I wish Sian the very best for the future.”

DH permanent secretary Una O’Brien added: “I will be working closely with Sian over the next few months to ensure we build on the approach she has developed with her team.  We wish her all the best in her future endeavours.”